The final submission for UTAS Writing The Family History Saga, William’s Funeral is based on factual details. The narrative has been  constructed to tell the story of my great grandmother Lily Menz Morse  who was widowed when her husband died in a tragic mine accident at the same time Queen Victoria died,  William and Lily had 4 boys under 9 years of age and she was 8 months pregnant with her fifth child. he was born  in March 1901 and named for his father William Francis Samuel Morse.  My grandfather is the middle son, Percy  Morse. Lily was on her own as she was estranged from her family. Her formidable father  Abel Menz  felt she had married beneath station.   Able was a powerful man  in the Mount Franklin Shire, and Past President  and Councillor of the shire. I want  to believe that her 11 brothers stood by her at the time of her husband’s death although I have no evidence to support this. Her sons were named for her brothers. Annie and James Parker are her sister in-law and brother in-law.  Annie was William’s sister and both were witnesses at Lily and William’s  elopement. This is my narrative relating to William’s Funeral.William& Lily's headstone

Everything was black, even the moon hid from view. The soft rain[1] fell echoing her mood. Lily set in her rocking chair on the front porch.  Her belly rising and falling as the child kicked.  Wrapped in an old quilt, Lily’s tears flowed. William lay in the front room[2].  Her thoughts were about the boys and the new baby. The Colony was in mourning the death of the old Queen[3], but she mourned William.

She closed her eyes against the night and everything went black.

The smell of porridge tickled Lily’s nostrils before Otto woke her.                                            “Mumma, mumma are you all right?” Otto shook Lily. Awake for hours,  Otto made sure Percy and Harold ate breakfast and changed Bertie. He understood how hard today would be.  Otto’s ninth birthday was only two weeks away.  The eldest boy, he was the man of the family. .  Looking down at her skirt she smiled when she saw the grey lumpy hand-print.  Otto had made porridge to feed the boys. Now her clothes need changing, and the funeral was at 10.00am.  Pulling her watch out of her pocket, she noted there was enough time before Annie arrived.  Her brother and sister-in-law, had been so helpful. Annie had lent her a black bombazine dress to wear. Smiling she thought just as well she was thin and Annie wide, for the dress fitted her in her eighth month.  The boys would need help to dress, she couldn’t leave everything to Otto.

Lily adverted her eyes from crepe draped coffin. The essence of William didn’t exist in a wooden box, he lived in her heart and as long as she had the boys he would always be with her. Reverend Rogers[4] had sat with her last night and talked about the future. He’d talked to the Mine manager. There might make a small annuity available. The parish would help where possible. She thanked him for his kindness, but her insides curled up at the thought of accepting charity.

She dressed slowly, and before she knew it Annie arrived; breezing through the door like a breath of fresh air.  James following in her wake with several brown paper parcels in his arms.  Annie took immediate control; organising the boys and before she could blink, they were washed and changed. Shouts and giggles sounded as they cut the string and unwrapped the packages.  Five-year-old Percy ran into the room;

“See Mumma, new pants and shoes he pointed his foot. Auntie Annie has new pants and shoes for all of us, even Bertie.”

“Percy, come here and help me with Bertie,” Annie’s muffled voice called from the back room. Percy raced back and, the giggling continued.

Lily retreated to the porch, to her chair, unable to stay in the front room, she had tried but felt breathless. James carried a tea tray out and placing the tray on the table he handed Lily a mug of sweet tea.

“Where did all the food in the kitchen come from, Lily?

“From the neighbours, it’s a good spread for the Wake.”

James laughed, “Well that’s something. It appears Otto’s been cooking porridge. Somehow I don’t think you’ll be able to selvage the pot.”

Before Lily answered, the boys spilled out on to the porch. Annie followed, her pink cheeks glowing. The boys standing to attention, with two-year-old Bertie balanced on Percy’s hip. Bertie’s thumb remained jammed in his mouth.

Harold twisting and turning to show off his new clothes spied the two drays coming up the road.

“Mumma! Look Uncle Otto, Uncle Alex, Uncle Ernest, and oh just everybody!”

Lily looked up through the drizzling rain across the rail line to the church. Revered Rodgers’ trap was already there, push-bikes and drays crammed into the rear. The black draped dray pulled up out the front. The second dray loaded with men drove on to the house.

Otto drove the trap around the back. The rain stopped.  He dismounted and the six brothers walked together to the steps of the porch.

“Morning Lily, we’re here to take William to Chapel.”

Lilly nodded and her boys melted to her side, and they walked down the steps as her brothers entered the house. Standing three on either side of the coffin they raised it from the trestles. Turning, they carried the coffin from the room, out the door and down the steps. In the yard they stopped, shifted William’s coffin to their shoulders and linking arms underneath, they began the short walk to the Church. Lily followed. Annie and James closed in beside her, and with the boys they made the journey across the railway line to the church.


[1] 1901 ‘WEATHER FORECAST.’, The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924), 22 January, p. 1. , viewed 20 Aug 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207027824

[2] Death Certificate of William Samuel Frances Morse, died 23 January 1901, Registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria, 28251/1901

[3] 1901 ‘PUBLIC MOURNING’, The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), 24 January, p. 10. , viewed 19 Aug 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196061718

[4] https://victoriancollections.net.au/items/5ac5a60b21ea6b05947f8500


PERCY’S STORY – An Unremarkable Soldier  but a Remarkable Man


2847 MORSE Private – Percival Norman    

6/24th Battalion    1st Australian Pioneer Battalion  1896 – 1988

                                             An Unremarkable Soldier  but a Remarkable Man

Percival Morse (Percy)[1] was born in 1896[2] in Maryborough. He grew up in the small hamlet of Campbells Creek, Victoria. By 1916 Percy 1

the town’s population had reached 896 persons[3].   By 1918 the town had sent 85 men to war, 9.5% of its adult population. Ten men were killed in action[4].  What drove these young and not so young men to enlist to fight in a war half way across the world?  This biographical essay will explore some of his experiences at home and at war and consider the impact on the man and his family.

Percy’s father died in a mine accident in 1901[5], and his mother, Lily Morse, raised five boys on her own.  Percy joined up one month and one week after his 19th birthday on July 13, 1915[6]. His file contains a letter of consent from his mother Lily Morse[7].

Figure 2 Letter of Consent from Lily Menz Morse  NAA

Percy 2

In June 1915 the Minister of Defense declared monthly recruitment targets of 5300 men. State based Parliamentary recruitment committees were active throughout their communities[8].   Were the Campbells Creek boys influenced by these meetings or was it the fact that Australian and New Zealand troops remained pinned down at Gallipoli[9]?

A video interview in September 1983 provides an insight into why Percy enlisted. The interview is between Grant Barlow, (grandson) and Percy Morse, it was conducted at his home, 33 Vida Street Essendon.  An abridged transcript follows;

Interviewer: … when you were talking about joining up for the war… You told me you were all standing around outside the boot shop one Sunday morning. Can you tell me that story again?

Percy Morse     Oh yes, hum the boys from the football team used to get around the little boot shop on Sunday morning… I suppose there were a dozen or 18 of us…someone says “I think I will go to the war.”  So another says, “I’ll be with you Jack”. It went on and on … any how we all arranged to go into Castlemaine … So any how a dozen or so of us all went away together.[10]

On Sunday July 11, 1915 the majority of the Campbells Creek Football Club, including their Best and Fairest Player[11], Percy Morse, travelled to Castlemaine to register and then proceeded to Melbourne for medical examinations. For most this would have been their first visit to Melbourne.

The group then moved on to the training camp at Broadmeadows where over a three -day period, July 13 -15, 1915 when their papers were formally signed.  This was followed by a short period of leave home. On the weekend of July 24, the community gathered for a celebratory farewell at the Fire Station[12]. The entire town turned out and the small hall was packed to overflowing. Once the speeches and musical interludes concluded, Mr. Ellis, head teacher of Campbells Creek’s small school, requested photographs and details of those enlisting to encourage the students to create an Honor Board[13] to remind them of the volunteers.                    

Percy 3


This hand lettered board remains proudly on display. It honors those past pupils who fought and returned, and those made the ultimate sacrifice.

There is little in Percy’s file to provide any detail about his first months in the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF).  Initially he was assigned to 6th Reinforcements /24th Battalion, rank Private from July 28 to October 13, 1915.  On October 27 1915 he embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT A38 Ulysses via Freemantle for Egypt. There are no personal letters to refer to, however a letter to the Geelong Advertiser 1914[14] describes the laborious process of embankment and details the daily regime of rising at 6:00am to lights out at 9:30pm. In a letter dated April 1915[15] from the Ulysses, an anonymous correspondent complains of “crook tucker.”   From both accounts it appears there was little distraction to alleviate the tedium of travel.

On arrival in Egypt on November 26, the group trained and drilled at Port Tewfik. On February 24 1916, they were taken on strength (TOS) to the 7th Battalion at Serapeum. After months of training changes came quickly. On March 5, Percy was then TOS with the new 1st Pioneers Battalion. By March 26.1916, they were proceeding to Alexandria on the Ballarat joining the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF). On Anzac Day in April 1916 they disembarked in Marseilles.[16]

Percy was TOS 2nd Tunlg Co on 3rd of July 1916. The Tunnelling Coy, was the spear head preparing trenches, the men often worked under enemy fire, building revetment, saps and laying cables and turning barns into accommodation barracks.  It was hard, dirty and dangerous work.  The Unit Diaries of the 2nd Tunlg. Co as per example shown below are difficult to decipher.[17]

Figure 4 Unit Diary 2nd Tunneling Company July 1916

percy 4

The entries in Percy’s papers are sparse, apart from notices of attachment and  spells in hospital;

  • August 1916 Hospital Bonneville France
  • September returned to Unit
  • October rejoins 1st Pioneers in Field France
  • May 5 1917 32nd Field Ambulance  to No 3 Casulty Clearing Station  no details on file
  • May 11 1917  no 5 General Hospital Rouen  In field
  • May 30 1917 Con Depot
  • August 21 1917          Transferred to Infirmary at Le Havre – no details
  • October 13-16   1917  Transfer and travel to Unit 1st Pioneers  – in field
  • January 3-19  1918      On leave to UK
  • January 19  1918           rejoined Unit 1st Pioneers
  • November 10-19 1918 On leave UK
  • Nov 20 1918                 rejoin Unit in Field
  • January 14 1919           Leave France for UK
  • March 28 1919             Embark City of Poona  for Australia
  • August 3rd 1919            Discharged [18]

Percy’s file is bare of information, no record of being absent without leave, no rule breaking, and no disputes with other ranks or serving soldiers. He does not rate a mention in the Unit Diaries of any of his attachments as far as it has been possible to discover. Like thousands of other unremarkable men, they went to fight in the great battles of the Western Front and survived as best they could.

Percy shouldered his responsibilities and was fortunate to return home physically unscathed. While serving at the front Percy had the additional concern for his younger brother Bertie who enlisted in 1917 and was TOS to the 3rd   Tunlg. Co.  Bertie was wounded twice and severely gassed[19].  Bertie returned home a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) soldier, and died in 1940 as a result of war injuries[20]. A reasonable assumption is Percy felt responsible for his brother’s condition as he assumed the responsibility of caring for his widow and daughter.[21]

When Armistice was declared there were more celebrations in the Fire Station Hall in Campbells Creek[22]. In March another celebration was held as more men returned. The heroes were celebrated and the living were given a certificate of service from a graceful community[23]

What was the impact on Percy and his family?  Percy Morse rarely spoke about the war; Anzac Day was not celebrated. His medals were placed in a tobacco tin in his wardrobe. If he had any psychological issues, they were not obvious nor were they discussed. He and his wife were pacifists and joined the Communist Party of Australia. They endured the Great Depression and Sustenance Payments, he worked on the Great Ocean Road.  A proud and loving husband, he was heart-broken when his eldest son joined the RAAF in June 1943, the day after he turned 18[24].  His world had turned full circle.

Percy’s story is not unusual.  The Great War had a profound impression on those who served, their families and communities. They returned to a different world. Many returned broken physically and psychologically.  Families were left to mourn those who did not return. In May 1918, Wilfred Owen wrote;

My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn.[25]



[1] Photography from Darley Collection 1916  AWM

[2] Birth Certificate Percival N Morse  Vic BDM 2153/1896 accessed  January 28, 1988

[3] VPARL 1917 No 32 https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/papers/govpub/VPARL1917No32.pdf  accessed July17 2019

[4] Castlemaine Mail March 28 1918 page 4  Trove accessed March 12 1990

[5] Death Certificate William Morse  Vic BDM 1058/1901  Victorian BDM accessed August 08 2019

[6] Attestation papers Percival Norman Morse accessed National Archives  Australia October 23 2013

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] WW1 Timeline State Library of New South Wales accessed July 26 2019

[10] Barlow Family Home Video Chapter 2 Copy in possession of author

[11] Best and Fairest medal 1915  – family heirloom

[12] Mount Alexander Mail Thursday July 29 1915, p2  Trove accessed January 22 2016

[13] Campbells Creek School No 128  Midland Highway  Campbells Creek Archives

[14] Geelong Advertiser Wed 9 December 1914 p 9  Trove accessed July 12 2019

[15] Leader -Orange NSW Friday 2 April 1915 page 8 Trove accessed July 12 2019

[16] Service Record Morse Percival William SN 2847  p5  National Archives Australia

[17] Unit  Diary weekly Mine Report 2nd Tunneling Company July 1917 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/AWM4/ accessed June 2019

[18] Service records Morse Percival Norman  NAA

[19]  Service Record Morse Bertram  NAA

[20] Death Certificate  Bertram Morse Vic 2623/1940 BDM

[21] Stories from my Grandfather – author’s personal collection.

[22] Castlemaine Mail Monday January 28 1918 page 2 Trove April 2010

[23] Castlemaine Mail Monday March 25 1918 p4 trove accessed April 2010

[24] Service Documents Morse Norman Henry RAAF  Service Number 142520 National Archives Australia –retrieved  January 2015

[25] This Preface was found, in an unfinished condition, among Wilfred Owen’s papers.

The problems of caregiving …………….


We speak often about caregiver burnout when dealing with loved ones who have dementia, but  there  is also a huge problem with staff burn out in care facilities.  Recently a staff member wrote that they  had  been kicked, punched, spat on and verbally abused. They stated they  were  not alone  and that like many others they would turn up day after day to work to care for those residents for whom they  had a feeling of responsibility. They spoke of how people were reluctant to believe a small  elderly lady or man could or would be capable of such actions  and that staff are expected to  cop this and bad attitudes of  relatives  on the chin.  A Charter of residents rights request that care staff be respected. and Staff are there to do a job  not to be treated poorly or ignored by relatives.

The following are my thoughts, a  comment on the  statement , because this employee feels abandoned by employers a target for relatives and a punching bag for distressed residents. 

Most caregivers and loved ones of those in care facilities understand exactly what the staff in these facilities are experiencing as many have experienced the same behaviours in their own homes. What we do not understand, and do not blame staff for, is lack of management concern, poor pay rates, poor initial training of workers and lack of appropriate ongoing professional development. If staffing levels and training was appropriate many episodes of disturbing behaviours can be controlled and minimized. UTI’s & URTI’s would be less frequent and if hydration levels are maintained all these factors reduce trigger points for behavioural issues. Many staff do not understand the differing requirements for various forms of dementia management. Again this is a training issue. Staff are not trained to work with patients who have lapsed into their native tongue because their short term memory is gone. Combine the loss of the ability to verbally communicate together with the various other symptoms of dementia and you have an explosive situation, and speaking loudly will only exacerbate the situation. There is no use placing a sign of toilet on the door if the person with dementia has lost the capacity to recognise what a toilet is. I could go on and on. Most of us do value the work you guys do and in being advocates for our loved ones we also advocate for more staff better training etc…To those staff who cared for my parents a huge thank you – believe me I understood your frustrations but did you understand mine when I provided training material in how best to manage a person with Lewy Body Dementia and your management saw fit either not to pass it on or you did not have adequate time to read it or the fact it was thrown out by the EN when cleaning out the Nurses station. Did you understand when I sat in the foyer for hours in order to see the centre manager who, because of cost cutting. had replaced my mother’s quiet oxygen concentrator with an older, hotter, noisier model without consultation. Because of my actions the the originals were replace and the ineffective older cheaper models were removed. Staff and loved ones hopefully want the same things. A safer, better equipped working place for you means a safer home for my loved one, Remember the facility is their home, they live there, staff work in their home. Everyone is entitled to be safe and treated with respect regardless of position staff or resident. Staff are not expendable we all depend on you. We have entrusted to your care the most precious people in our lives at the most vulnerable period of their life.



English Folk Verse (c.1870)

The Fifth of November

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Habing, B. (2006, November 3). The Fifth of November – English Folk Verse. Retrieved from http://www.potw.org/archive/potw405.html

My memories of  Guy Fawkes night or Cracker Night are of Jumping Jacks, Tom Thumbs Catherine Wheels, Penny Bangers, Sky Rockets and Sparklers.  Night could not come quickly enough. We had spent what seemed like hours choosing from the colourful array in the shop.  I had saved all my pocket money and there was deep discussion about how many Catherine Wheels or Sky Rockets and Pots we could buy. Penny Bangers and  Throwdowns were limited  and the pretties as I called them won the day.

There was a ritual to Cracker night; the build up , the planning, the purchase and safety. Dad was very safety conscious.  The crackers were stored in the garden shed   and before he set them up  our two dogs Sally and Suzie would be locked in the laundry,  to keep them safe and away from the noise. When the action plan was completed  and Mum and I had to stand on the front porch and he would set up the fireworks,  the crackers were laid out on the grass  and sky rockets were set up in milk bottles to hold them upright  in the middle of the lawn. The action would start as Dad would set them off at appropriate intervals staged for best effect.  To the left and right and all around the other fathers were following a similar  trajectory. The anticipation was huge and as night claimed the daylight the show would begin. The air was full of noise and smoke, as up and down the street the fun began.

Crackers would whizz and bang and gorgeous showers of silver and gold would erupt out of gaudy paper pots . Sky Rockets would launch toward the moon and release the most wonderful showers of coloured lights alway ending in the final bang and streamers  of lights trailing across the night sky ,until they petered out into nothingness .  They outshone the stars.

Memories are fragile and multi layered. Just now as I type my nose crinkles as a waft of  acrid smoke  slips by me a sharp reminder of the past. tang of gunpowder. My mouth drys,  the pungent taste of metal is released as another memory escapes.

If I close my eyes all my senses come into play as I see, hear, taste and feel the heat of the beauty of the stunning colours of the Catherine Wheel pinned to the board, resembling  a beautiful but exotoic being caught in a trap, twisting and turning to escape until its energy is spent and it droops, lifeless, dead with no sense of its former glory.  They always made me cry when they were drab and exhausted.

When we had spun the last Catherine Wheel and the last Sky Rocket had fallen back to earth we would walk with our neighbours to the vacant block  where the older children had built a bonfire. All the unwanted scraps of  broken furniture, papers and other debris  had been piled around a dead boxthorn shrub and was set alight. The Dads took turn in standing around with water backpacks, used to fight the summer grass fires,  to make sure the bonfire did not get out of control.

I remember sitting on my Dad’s shoulders, watching  spellbound by the leaping flames, fascinated by the shadows they cast. They pranced and danced I was never afraid, I was with my Dad.  I knew the story of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot, the poem had been read to my class at school, the bit about the Pope was left out as it was a Catholic school.  I was also familiar with  the stories of the phoenix rising from the ashes and of the salamander. These  memories resurfaced, when as an adult I read Harry Potter and was introduced to Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes.

Now I am older and I often wish for those happier, less complicated times. My children have different memories as they celebrated Lunar New Year, complete with crackers, moon lanterns and lion dancers and then back in Australia in most states crackers had been banned from public sale.

Celebrating the 5th of November in Australia is now seen as old fashioned, a safety risk and politically incorrect as it is deemed a unfavourable reminder, a  leftover of our colonial history. We could however learn a lesson from its origins.

These days fireworks displays are confined to special occassions and are huge public events such as  New Years Eve etc.  Beautiful and costly as these events are they will never replace the thrill of being with my Dad on Guy Fawkes Night. I will always remember the 5th of November  for that reason alone.  Thanks Dad.




These two words are the most complex two words to face any person much less a writer.

What if? What if I could write as many words a day as I post on social media?

What if I had said yes or may be instead of no?

What if a meteor hits the Earth tomorrow?

What if I have six months to live?

What if I wrote everyday instead of playing Solitaire online?

What if I speak to my neighbors instead of ignoring them?

What if we made an effort to touch base with a family member once a week in real person time not online?

What if I take control of my life instead of blaming others?

What if I make an effort to make all comments positive for 24 hours?

Sitting back and looking at the words above I can delete the ones that are way out there and review the others.

As my doctor hasn’t said anything negative except,  “good start, loose another 20 kgs you are doing well for your age.”

Based on this statement I can assume all things being equal, I have more than 6 months to live. Strike this what if from the list. Then again who knows what will happen. Let me tweak this statement to make a wider statement.

Next improbable, meteors hitting the earth! I can tweak this as well and end up with the same message as the previous one.

Change your mindset BE a happier more compassionate person. One people interact with.



Now construct a



* Make the most of each day and live as if it is your last

* Be constructive with your time – write more & less time online

* Say Hello to your neighbours next time you see them

* Call one of your cousins, children or grandchildren and talk to them, ask for nothing but their time or write a letter- yes, a real letter something that you send via the snail mail system.

* Take all the old negative thoughts and feelings; hurts, real or imagined, pack them into an imaginary bag – You have dealt with them for years. Imagine you chain the bag to an anchor. Put it in boat and sail out to sea, throw the bag overboard then watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean, taking all your pain with it. Come home lighter and free from negativity.

* Think before you respond and if your instinct is to say something negative, either say nothing or find a positive response.

*Before you know it – You have finished your book



Friday, 31 March 2017


If you love dolls then you cannot go past the all Australian Joanne Walker Doll produced by Atlas Plastics from 1949 to the mid 1950’s.  Atlas Plastics were previously Hutchens Brothers who had their business in Nolan Street, South Melbourne.

Hutchens Brothers quite often advertised positions for girls to make doll clothes and towards the later part of 1949 positions for artistic girls to paint doll faces and girls wanted for interesting congenial work were advertised in the name of Atlas Plastics rather than Hutchens Brothers. In the 1950’s Atlas Plastics were looking for women to assemble their dolls.

Joanne was not only sold in specialised toy stores but also department stores and newsagents.

In 1950 Atlas Plastics donated a walking, talking (this would be a Ma Ma doll), sleeping, winking doll called Joanne to an organisation helping to raise funds for the 3DB Sporting Globe Appeal as seen in the Sporting Globe, Melbourne, 23 December 1950.

Was this walking, talking, winking Joanne a one off?

In 1953 a 31 inch Joanne doll was advertised with hair in a choice of blonde or brunette. She weighed 3 1/2 pounds and cost £8 /13 / 6.

In 1953 a 30 inch Joanne walker doll was advertised as having a Ma Ma voice. She cost £8 /19/6.

In 1954 a 30 inch Joanne doll was advertised as wearing a taffeta dress with nylon hair that could be washed. The cost to buy her was £8 / 10/- a pricey doll.

The Joanne dolls started out as hard plastic dolls that were spray painted, the Joanne dolls to follow were thin plastic. It’s very easy to tell them apart. The earlier sprayed dolls have a different colouring, the paint is flat and dullish to look at, although a nice soft brown in comparison to the unpainted thin plastic dolls that have a shine to them, especially noticeable on their face

I don’t have a preference for either type of Joanne doll; they’re all lovely to me.

These dolls came with open and closed mouths.

In 1950 a 30 inch Joanne doll was advertised as a walking, sleeping doll.
Some were advertised without a name. The price for her was 6 guineas. Back in 1950 you could buy a 40 piece dinner set for less.

In 1954 a 30 inch Joanne doll was advertised as having three choices of hair colour; blonde, brunette and red.
In 1954 according to one ad Joanne was the doll ”everyone was talking about.”
In 1955 a 28 inch Joanne doll was described as being ”practically indestructible” she was dressed in a taffeta dress with bonnet and nylon hair that could be shampooed. Cost £6 / 15/.
The same year Myer had the above doll for sale.

In 1956 a 30 inch Joanne was advertised wearing an organdie dress and straw hat. Her nylon hair could be washed. The cost £6 /15/.

It seems that Myer were probably the last stockists actively advertising Joanne in 1956 with the doll being advertised as ”while stocks last’ — by the end of that year she no longer appeared. This doll is the one you find with the organdie dress and straw hat.
Over time many of these dolls split at various parts of the seam, my dolly is in lovely condition though and she displays beautifully.
Myer advertised Joanne in a 27 and 28 inch for sale in the same year wearing an organdie dress and straw hat. The price for her was the same as the 30 inch above.
A very big thank you to Witchesweb  for this great article



Cape Paterson Photo Journal 2019

CLICK LINK TO OPEN PRESENTATION – it will download to the bottom corner of your screen – once loaded click on the presentation to open  and run. Use your mouse or navigation arrows to navigate the content.

One of the courses undertaken at UTAS  this year was the Photo Essay, and I elected to focus on a local beach. Cape Paterson is a ten minute drive from home and these photos were taken over a period of two weeks, using my trusty iPad camera and with very little editing other than cropping.  I have always loved photography, but never considered myself to be anthng but a memory keeper – taking photos for personal memories and often not very good photos.

I have always loved using the shapes and forms of nature and man made structures rather than happy snaps and jumped at the chance to do this unit.

The feedback I received was awesome and I have attached the PowerPoint show to this blog post  to share it with you.

To access the visuals click on the  link above and the PowerPoint show  will appear in the bottom corner  of your screen.  Click n the link to open the presentation.  Enjoy the show. 

This is the feedback I recieved-

Hi Linda,
The images you have selected successfully demonstrate your use of a 

variety of design and composition techniques. The combination of collage and single images, and the shifting camera point of view across the series adds visual interest. The single images provide important pauses within the photo-essay.



Your prior writing experience is evident in your beautifully crafted captions. The text is beautifully written and has a great rhythm. It creates a real backbone to your photo essay as the visual imagery in the text connects to the content within your photographs. I enjoy the viewer participation you engage by inviting the viewer to see your imaginative interpretations of the rock shapes and forms.
Your photo essay effectively combines words and images to tell a story. There is a strong location based visual narrative as we follow your beach walk. The text encourages us to enter another world and see the beauty, mystery and timelessness of the beach landscape. Or perhaps it is more apt to say that the photo essay prompts us to see the world as it really is if we take the time to look. Excellent work!

Best wishes for your future photography and writing endeavours,





Oh Word Press why have you abandoned me?  You have introduced paragraph blocking.  It’s Ok but when you try to cut and paste from a word doc it is sheer murder.

Then if I need to edit HELP. *&$#@ I have no idea of what is happening.. I am sad and hope our relationship is going to continue but…….


“It takes a village to raise a child.”


Bullying and self harm. A parent’s nightmare, a 12 year old child self harms and attempts suicide. The reason, bullying at school. The parents and family post a passionate plea on Facebook for help. They need to make someone accountable for their son’s situation.

The school is in the firing line for not doing more to prevent bullying. Given the high priority and community awareness surrounding bullying it is difficult to accept the school has done nothing. The post indicates one of the children was suspended for three days. The parents and family are also suggesting there has been no support from the public health system.

While the community grieves for this child – what is it the family want? What is the community supposed to do?

How do we stop and or control bullying? The frameworks are in place. Schools suspend perpetrators when bullying is identified and substantiated.  They have zero tolerance procedures in place.  Do they suspend children indefinitely?  Are there counselors in place can attendance to counselling be made mandatory?  Is counselling offered to both parties?  In reality what can the school do ? What action punitive or otherwise can they legally take?

There are more questions than answers. Teachers are not meant to be police officers, counselors, or paramedics and social workers and have more responsibilities today than ever before.

What is the role of the parent? How  has the victim been supported  within the family? Are we making the situation worse by using the terms victim, bully or perpetrator? Are there less stereotyped terms that could be applied?

What makes someone a victim and another person a bully?  Why does bullying occur?  Bullies may have a role model within their family circle. We see bullying in the animal kingdom. It is called the survival of the fittest and establishing a pecking order.  Now thats fine for the animal kingdom but humans are supposed to be more evolved and  use reasoning rather than brute force to settle disputes or confrontations.

How does the community, education system  or the health system support these individuals who are subjected to bullying and its side effects? Bullying is not sexist. Girls can be as vicious in their behaviour as boys. How do we support those who are causing the problems? Is it an anger management issue? Would cognitive behavourial therapy help?

Perhaps if the community as a whole stopped accepting  and mirroring the unacceptable behaviours that bombard us via the media and in the form of reality TV and so called celebrity outbursts and some of the belittling memes and posts on social media, outlooks and behaviours may change..

You can throw money and resources into this mix forever but, unless we understand the why, nothing will change. Children need to feel safe and secure in their environment. Parents need to understand and be accountable for their children. Parents need to parent and support their children teaching them right from wrong and not expect others to fill this void.  The role of a parent is to help the child to grow, to educate, love and support.

Respect appears to be lacking in many areas of our lives. Respect for self, others and the community and the world at large.  Christians may use the phrase from the Bible about  treating others as you would like to be treated; all faiths have a similar tenet of compassion and respect.

I am not suggesting that any specific family has not been aware or supported their child, However , there are dysfunctional families who are not supportive or even aware of what is  happening within their family. How do we help the children of these families?

Open communication and awareness knowing your child and recognising when something is not right is an imperative.

No family should experience the pain of a child attempt  to commit suicide and the subsequent results of that action.  The questions remain what can the done via official channels and what can the  community do to help?

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

Lawrence Mbogoni, an African studies professor, wrote: “Proverb or not, ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ reflects a social reality some of us who grew up in rural areas of Africa can easily relate to. As a child, my conduct was a concern of everybody, not just my parents, especially if it involved misconduct. Any adult had the right to rebuke and discipline me and would make my mischief known to my parents who in turn would also mete their own ‘punishment.’ The concern of course was the moral well-being of the community.”